On The Internet

Students design system for creating individualized newspaper

The Chronicle of Higher Education Page A23
June 9, 1995

Two undergraduates at Bucknell University have designed a system that points users to electronic newspapers on the Internet, so that people can create individualized daily papers for themselves.

The project is called CRAYON, which stands for "Create Your Own Newspaper." It was designed to use World-Wide Web technology in ways that let people create customized documents from many different sources, without putting a heavy load on Bucknell's computers.

The system lets users get information on whatever they want-weather, news, sports, even comics-and exclude topics they're not interested in. The sources for the information are usually newspapers, such as the San Jose Mercury News, that are experimenting with distributing their contents via the World-Wide Web.

Using CRAYON, users can set up their own links to those sources and store a list of those links on their own computer. Each day, using the data stored on the computer, users can update the information from the selected sites without going through CRAYON again.

Jeff R. Boulter, a senior majoring in computer science and engineering, designed CRAYON along with a fellow senior computer science major, Dave Maher. Mr. Boulter says the system relieves them of the continual need to update links to various sites, which tend to change over time. "It was basically just a way for us to avoid having to pick up a paper every day. Now about 2,000 people a day use it to set up their own list of items."

To set up CRAYON for yourself, use World-Wide Web software, such as Netscape or Mosaic, and the following Uniform Resource Locator: http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~boulter/crayon/.